Tom Herman and his staff are working feverishly in pursuit of one of the top-tier defensive linemen in the nation, and he just so happens to live within earshot of the Forty Acres.
Manor strong-side defensive end Princely Umanmielen is months removed from having a stellar junior season in which he was forced to play as an interior defensive lineman. Nevertheless, Umanmielen still managed to log 22 tackles for loss and six sacks.
Although playing inside is something Umanmielen is fully capable of doing, college coaches prefer him as a strong-side end in a four man front and at a 4i-technique in a three-man front.
To this point, Umanmielen has collected 19 offers, but Texas, LSU, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M are the ones he’s extensively keeping his eye on.
“It’s fun and stressful at the same time,” Umanmielen said of the recruiting process. “You have to always make sure you don’t leave anybody out and text a lot of coaches and stuff.”
This offseason, Umanmielen has been an absolute competitor on the camp circuit.
Burnt Orange Nation has had the chance to see Umanmielen twice throughout the past few months at elite camps like The Opening and the Under Armour camp. Umanmielen was exceptionally impressive at both events, displaying great explosiveness off the ball, using powerful and quick hand usage, while showing that he’s also equipped with an arsenal of pass-rushing moves. All of his abilities were solidified on paper as he posted the highest SPARQ rating for a defensive lineman (96.30) at The Opening regional over a week ago.
“The offseason has been going pretty good for me,” Umanmielen said. “Just working out, lifting and hitting a lot of camps and stuff.”
This time of the year is obviously a period when prospects continue to develop with their high school programs and get an ample amount of external work with trainers. Outside of focusing on progressing as an overall player in the spring and summer, making your way to universities is crucial. Umanmielen has made recent visits to Texas A&M and LSU, but the University of Texas campus is a place he’s accustomed to spending time at.
Last month, Umanmielen was in attendance for the Longhorns Junior Day, which marked his second trip to campus this offseason and his fourth throughout the past year. His frequent presence on the Forty Acres is to be expected given that Umanmielen lives just 20 minutes from campus.
“It was fun, it was really fun,” Umanmielen expressed. “I’ve actually been there a lot of times and this time I got to see places I haven’t seen yet.”
The four-star edge rusher added an offer from Texas last September while on hand for the USC game. Throughout the six-plus months since then, he’s built a bond with Herman and defensive line coach Oscar Giles.
“Texas is really close, and I’ve been there plenty of times,” Umanmielen said. “I’m really familiar with Coach Giles, Coach Herman and everybody. I have a real close relationship with them.”
The Texas staff is putting in a great deal of work to recruit Umanmielen, as they are in constant contact with him. Letting a talent of Umanmielen’s caliber leave the Austin area is something Herman will not go for and he’s doing whatever it takes to keep the Manor product home.
“They’re really pressing me and telling me that they really, really want me,” Umanmielen said. “Coach Herman tells me that ‘he’ll be damned if he let a kid from Austin go to any other school in the nation.’”
Umanmielen will be analyzing programs to a great degree over the course of these next few months, and he has a few things in mind that he wants to see from the school’s recruiting him.
“Just to know that they genuinely want me there,” Umanmielen said. “I look at a lot of schools rosters and I pay attention to that. I just want a real close relationship and just to make sure it feels like home and that the coaching staff feels like family.”
The Longhorns have offered only six total defensive ends from this current recruiting class, including Umanmielen. The staff has yet to land a defensive prospect thus far.
Umanmielen is slated to produce a top schools list sometime in May and ultimately wants to make a verbal commitment to a program sometime in September.
At 6’4, 256 pounds, Umanmielen is ranked as the nation’s No. 248 player, No. 14 strong-side defensive end, and as the No. 38 player in the state, per the 247Sports Composite.